NAVER Bolsters AI R&D Capability, Appoints Global leading AI Professionals in Search Quality and Natural Language Processing

– Dr. Young-Bum Kim and Professor Tetsuya Sakai seasoned researchers in search quality evaluation and natural language processing joined NAVER R&D force

– Artificial intelligence experts with broad academic connections and field experience to enrich NAVER’s R&D community

– NAVER to strengthen cooperation throughout the global AI R&D belt, and upgrade its AI search and recommendation services by bringing in global talents

NAVER Corporation announced that the company is bolstering its global AI R&D belt with outstanding artificial intelligence experts in search quality evaluation and natural language processing. NAVER expects to accelerate cooperation within its AI community by expanding its talents with robust experience and knowledge in the field.

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To that end, NAVER appointed Dr. Young-Bum Kim, an AI expert in conversational AI as head of Applied Science and Executive Director of U.S. R&D at NAVER Search CIC. The company also appointed Professor Tetsuya Sakai, dean of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Waseda University in Japan, as its general research advisor. Dr. Kim and Professor Sakai will work together and create synergies for upgrading NAVER’s search and AI service. The appointment of two of the world’s leading researchers in AI studies will further consolidate NAVER’s leadership in the field.

Dr. Kim led the Dynamic Ranking Science Group, a key component of the artificial intelligence platform Alexa, at Amazon. He developed key technologies to understand the user’s context and intentions, and provide optimal service. In particular, he has established an AI system that provides the response desired by general and corporate users through tens of thousands of Alexa Skills and other devices. Meanwhile, Dr. Kim currently serves as a chair professor at Hallym University and an adjunct professor at the Department of Computer Science at Korea University.

Professor Sakai used to be the director of the Natural Language Processing Lab at NewsWatch and work at Microsoft Research Asia and served as the dean of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Over the past 20 years, Professor Sakai has continued research on how to evaluate the effectiveness of desktop/mobile search, Q&A, and natural language conversations and he is renowned as a researcher in search quality evaluation with robust experience and knowledge in the field. He is the vice-chair at the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (ACM SIGIR) and the chair of the Steering Committee at the International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR). With his active participation in international academic communities, Professor Sakai is forming strong global networks with leading researchers in AI studies.

NAVER is actively bringing in global AI talents with the aim to further enhance its search service quality and solidify cooperation throughout its global AI R&D belt that spans from Korea, JapanHong Kong and Vietnam to Europe and U.S. Along with investments and an expanding talent pool, NAVER aims to lead the global AI R&D community to counter China and U.S.’s predominance in the AI field.

To create the research belt, NAVER established NAVER LABS Europe in 2017 by acquiring the Xerox Research Center in France and expanded the research cooperation to countries in Asia, including JapanVietnam, and Hong Kong. Moreover, in May, NAVER appointed Jin Young Kim, a former senior researcher at Microsoft and Snap, to expand NAVER’s R&D network in North America. As a result, NAVER is actively promoting joint R&D to strengthen its global AI ecosystem and secure the highest level of technology with excellent talents and academic institutions worldwide.

“We expect NAVER’s abundant data and service operation know-how and the performance of new experts will create synergy to provide users with a more advanced search experience,” said Inho Kang, Executive Officer at NAVER Search CIC. “As a leading technology company, NAVER will strengthen collaboration and exchanges with outstanding researchers around the world and promote further technological growth.”

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